A DIGITAL archive featuring interviews with leading figures in the medical and clinical science world – including Nobel Prize winners – has been launched in Oxford.

Oxford Brookes University has opened its newly digitised Medical Sciences Video Archives, its collection of over 130 interviews recorded between 1985 and 2002.

They include interviews with Sir Richard Doll, the pioneer of linking smoking to lung cancer, and Professor Sir Roy Calne, a leading pioneer of transplantation.

Others include Dr Denis Burkitt, who discovered a cancer common in children in Africa, now named after him – Burkitt's Lymphoma.

The interviews show a rich picture of the history of modern medicine with interviewers' expertise spanning from the 1930s until the end of the 20th century.

In the interviews, the scientists talk about their lives, influences, schooling, university education and medical training.

They also shed light on their personal views about the roles they played in the development on medicine during the period.

Dr Viviane Quirke, senior lecturer in modern history and history of medicine at Oxford Brookes University, said: “The Medical Sciences Video Archive is a precious resource for anyone interested in the history of modern medicine or in oral history.

“As well as covering a variety of topics, the collection provides special insights into the culture and practice of British biomedical science in the second half of the 20th century."

Professor Max Blythe, then of the School of Biological and Molecular Sciences at Oxford Polytechnic, founded the archive in 1985. He was instrumental in developing the collection and conducted most of its interviews.

Other interviewees include Dame Cicely Saunders, a pioneer of the modern hospice movement.

Nobel Prize winners also interviewed include Professor Dorothy Hodgkin, who was awarded the prize in chemistry for her work on structure of penicillin and vitamin B12.

Others include Professor Sir John Vane, who was jointly awarded the prize for physiology and medicine for his work on prostaglandins, and Professor Maurice Wilkins, who was jointly awarded the prize for medicine for work on structure of DNA.

Eleanor Possart, archivist for the Special Collections at Oxford Brookes University said: “It is an incredible collection and I feel privileged to have played some part in helping preserve it for future researchers.

“What’s great about RADAR is that it allows you to browse the collections by interview participant, subject and date, making it much easier to use the collection.

"I hope that now it is more accessible, more people will use and enjoy this wonderful resource.”